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In this labored vision of a future dystopia, amnesiac Sergei Plotkin finds himself torn between the mission planted in his brain by unknown overlords and the desire to protect his creator. As he travels through computer-controlled UniWorld, Plotkin slowly regains conflicting memories and learns he is meant to kill Grand Junction spaceport's mayor. While plotting homicide and investigating illegal Christians, Plotkin meets Vivian McNellis, whose genetic abnormalities give her an angel's power to rewrite the world. Learning that Vivian created him and is now dying from exposure to her metaphysical opposite, Plotkin abandons his mission, determined to eliminate the threat and save Vivian's life. Dantec, winner of France's Prix de I'Imaginaire for Les racines du mal, writes harsh, choppy prose—not improved by Kover's translation—and the convoluted plot often grinds to a halt amid technical jargon, discourse on society's devolution and abstruse narrative philosophy. (May)
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France’s reigning master of cyberpunk is finally being translated into English. First published in 2005, this densely plotted, dystopian thriller takes place in earth’s not-so-distant future, after biological and nuclear warfare have devastated the populace and a cybernetic entity, Uniworld, has assumed control of governmental affairs. Those who can afford it move offworld to the inhabited Orbital Ring. To slip past Uniworld’s brain scanners, visiting Ring citizen Sergei Plotnik has much of his memory wiped before passing through earth’s immigration checkpoints. As Plotnik approaches his ultimate destination of Grand Junction, buried neural implants reveal his assignment to murder the Vegas-like city’s mayor while raising unsettling questions about his true identity and ties to the Mafia-like organization the Order of the Red Star. Dantec’s focus on humanity’s technological enslavement in an unraveling future society inevitably invites comparisons to the milieus of William Gibson’s fiction, yet Dantec has a vision all his own, powerful enough to attract and hold a large fan base and stimulate the translation of his entire oeuvre. --Carl HaysSee all Editorial Reviews